When you're a witch, astrology is one of those things that you can't get away from. Moon phases are important for our spellwork and our signs dictate how we connect with the world around us. The only problem is, it's also one of the hardest subjects to get one's head around.
For most of us, a basic knowledge of how astrology works is enough to help us in our craft, but even that's difficult to get hold of when so many books out there love to over-complicate things. That's why I was more than pleasantly surprised by The Astrological Grimoire by Shewolfe and Beatrix Gravesguard, which not only gives an easy-to-comprehend explanation of the most important aspects of astrology, but how to incorporate them into your magical practices too.
First of all, the layout of the book is beautiful. It's always quite daunting to pick up a book that sounds interesting, only to flick through it and every page looks the same. Instead, The Grimoire is split into bitesize, colour-coded chunks of text which are easily absorbed in one short reading session. It's unthreatening and inviting, even if it is a little bit on the fluffy side.
Yes, "fuffy" is an overused word for any New Age book published after the 80s, but this is certainly not a book for the experts. The altar suggestions are unorthodox and the "rituals" that are detailed within are probably not the sort of thing experienced witches are down for. But then again, it's not really aimed at the intermediate.
The first few pages are dedicated to outlining the most important things about astrology. There's a basic rundown of all the signs at the front of the book, making the traits, symbols and dates very easy to memorise. After all, even the well-learned struggle sometimes. Then you have a brief overview of the traits associated with each sign's element (Fire, Earth, Air, Water) and quality (Cardinal, Fixed, Mutable), an introduction into the Sun Sign, Moon Sign and Rising Sign, as well as moon phases, astrological houses and planetary associations, and then a simple explanation of how to use that information to interpret a birth chart.
The rest of the book is split into The Signs, each with a list of moon phase horoscopes and some rituals and affirmations to incorporate astrology into your spellwork. There's also space to perform the rituals, because the majority can be done with paper and pen. I do admire that about the book; too many times I come across "beginner" spellbooks that require all manner of herbs and candles that you would never find in the new learner's household. As aesthetically pleasing as these tools are to the beginner, it's important to learn that rituals can be performed with the most basic of tools.
The Astrological Grimoire is so easy to understand for the newbie that I struggle to criticise it. Of course, it's not the most detailed book in the world for understanding astrology. If you want to know about transits, aspects and ephemerides, I would suggest you look elsewhere. This book is certainly not going to teach you how to read a traditional birth chart, but you will be armed with all the tools you need to learn the trickier elements of the discipline. It's not enough to indoctrinate you, but it's enough to get you interested.
tagged in Book review